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S2 Donald Elwyn Vashaw

S2 Donald Elwyn Vashaw

Colebrook, Coos County, New Hampshire, USA
Death 25 Sep 1944
At Sea
Burial Colleville-sur-Mer, Departement du Calvados, Basse-Normandie, France
Plot Tablets of the Missing
Memorial ID 56651023 · View Source
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Son of Mr. & Mrs. Frank Deviled Vashaw.

Donald served as a Seaman, Second Class, U.S.S. Miantonomah (CMc-5), U.S. Navy during World War II.

He resided in Colebrook, Coos County, New Hampshire prior to the war.

Donald was declared "Missing In Action" when the Miantonomah was sunk by a mine off the French coast during the war.

He was awarded the Purple Heart.

Service # 8068717

Bio by:
Russell S. "Russ" Pickett

Miantonomah sailed early in the afternoon of the 25th. Because of the danger of enemy mines, her skipper — Cdr. Austin E. Rowe — ordered "the highest state of watertight integrity to be set and all personnel not actually on watch below to be on topside and wear lifejackets" — measures which undoubtedly saved many lives. With a French harbor pilot at the conn, she skillfully navigated the inner and outer harbors and cleared the blockships, thence made course for the entrance to the marked channel. As she steamed about 2,000 yd (1,800 m) out from the blockships, she was rocked at 14:15 by a tremendous underwater explosion under the engine room. This blast — possibly followed by a second one — dazed or injured practically the entire crew. Immediately, the stricken ship began to sink rapidly by the stern and to starboard.
Damage control efforts proved useless, and as Coast Guard vessels, British motor launches, and a French fishing craft stood by to rescue survivors, her injured skipper ordered Miantonomah to be abandoned. She sank about 20 minutes after the explosion with a loss of some 58 officers and men at position 49°26′29″N 0°11′31″E Coordinates: 49°26′29″N 0°11′31″E.



  • Created by: CWGC/ABMC
  • Added: 8 Aug 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 56651023
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for S2 Donald Elwyn Vashaw (unknown–25 Sep 1944), Find A Grave Memorial no. 56651023, citing Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, Colleville-sur-Mer, Departement du Calvados, Basse-Normandie, France ; Maintained by CWGC/ABMC (contributor 6) .